Offseason Overview: Can the Cardinals Finally Reach Their Potential?

Leinart needs to get his head on straight

Franchise Player: LB Karlos Dansby (tendered at $8.065M; signed tender April 17).

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

• DL Rodney Bailey has the ability to play inside and out adds to his value.

• P Mitch Berger didn’t secure the job in the final weeks of ‘07.

• QB Tim Hasselbeck is probably out of the picture after the addition of Brian St. Pierre.

• S Bhawoh Jue could provide depth.

• DT Ross Kolodziej was banged up last year, and he probably won’t return.

• QB Tim Rattay is a solid backup but is trying to seek a No. 2 job elsewhere.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

• TE Tim Euhus (not tendered as RFA) is average at best and could return as a camp body.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

• CB Michael Adams: ERFA; terms unknown.

• LB Clark Haggans: UFA Steelers; $1.5M/1 yr, SB unknown.

• P Dirk Johnson: FA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• DE Travis LaBoy: UFA Titans; $22M/5 yrs, $7.5M guaranteed.

• WR Jamaica Rector: ERFA; terms unknown.

• DL Bryan Robinson: UFA Bengals; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

• QB Brian St. Pierre: UFA Steelers; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• LB Matt Stewart: UFA Browns; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• TE Jerame Tuman: FA Steelers; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

• TE Troy Bienemann: ERFA; terms unknown.

• OT Elton Brown: RFA; $927,000/1 yr.

• CB Ralph Brown: UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• S Oliver Celestin: UFA; terms unknown.

• LB Karlos Dansby: Franchise FA; $8.065M/1yr.

• CB Eric Green: RFA; $2.017M/1 yr.

• LS Nathan Hodel: UFA; 4 yrs, terms unknown.

• WR Ahmad Merritt: Not tendered as RFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• WR Sean Morey: FA; had been released by Cardinals; terms unknown.

• DE Bo Schobel: Not tendered as ERFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• DE Antonio Smith: RFA; $2.017M/1 yr.

• DE Joe Tafoya: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

• WR Jerheme Urban: Not tendered as RFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

• S Matt Ware: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

PLAYERS LOST

• LB Darryl Blackstock: Not tendered as RFA/Bengals; $560,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB.

• DT Chris Cooper (released).

• S Terrence Holt (released).

• LB Brandon Johnson: Not tendered as ERFA/Bengals; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• WR Bryant Johnson: UFA 49ers; $2M/1 yr, SB unknown.

• OLB Calvin Pace: UFA Jets; $42M/6 yrs, $22M guaranteed.

• OT Oliver Ross (released).

• OG Keydrick Vincent: UFA Panthers; $2M/2 yrs, $400,000 SB.

The Cardinals have been going through growing pains for the past few years as they try to round themselves into a contender in the NFC West, and this year they feel they have all the makings of making that happen. They went 8-8 last season, and with some solid draft picks, a emphasis on a defense that should be better, the Cards will be in the mix for sure in the weak West. The team has a solid group of talent on offense, but needs to finally commit to Matt Leniart at QB, or simply give the role to Kurt Warner. Last year first-year coach Ken Whisenhunt shifted between the two before Leinart got hurt, and while it showed some success, it is not a plan to win games long term.

They also looked to establish a running game like Whis and Russ Grimm had with the Steelers, with Edgerrin James being the workhorse. The plan started well, but James wore down and the O-line got banged up, so they want to work on plan again in 2008. The defense also is an area they want to make better, as they allowed 24.9 points per game, and 232 yards per game in the air. That’s why they drafted CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the first round, and gave a big deal to DE Travis LaBoy, to put more pressure on QB’s. The Cards have the makings of a solid team that can win 9-10 games, now the question is will they reach that potential?

Offseason Grade to Date: B-


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